In-Vivo Embryo Flushing

In Vivo Embryo Flushing is the process where embryos are flushed from the donor cow and transferred into a surrogate, where the embryo develops into a foetus and grows until calving. The surrogate, or recipient mother, raises the calve as her own until weaning.

With embryo flushing the donor cow undergoes a synchronization program, where follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is injected to ensure superovulation of oocytes (egg cells). The donor is then artificially inseminated to fertilize the multiple oocytes. Six to seven days after insemination, the embryos are recovered through a non-surgical procedure, called embryo flushing

After embryo flushing the embryos undergo quality control to check the structure and are classified as grade 1, 2, 3, degenerate or unfertilized (oocytes). The grade 1-3 embryos are selected for fresh transfer or alternatively cryopreserved (frozen) to be used at a later stage. Degenerates and oocytes are discarded. In case of exports, only grade one embryos are selected and stored until shipment. Grade 2 and 3 embryos can be frozen for the farmer to use but have the best chance with fresh transfer.

Advantages to embryo flushing:

  • A genetic superior cow can produce more calves yearly.
  • The fastest, most cost-effective way to expand and preserve cow genetics.
  • Increase top genetics in your breed or herd.
  • Genetics can be shared between countries more easily.
  • Life animals are transported less, which reduces the risk of disease transmissions
  • Reduce risk in the sense of genetic preservation of top genetics.

This procedure can be repeated again after 4-6 weeks, with two total flushing preferred whereupon the donor is made pregnant again.

Embryo flushing at Absolute Genetics is performed by our Veterinarian, Dr Collin Albertyn.

Click here to navigate to our Embryo Flushing FAQ section.